Sunday, December 16, 2007

3.25.2007...Air Show

Here's Monica, thinking "hey, this fly boy stuff doesn't look that hard. Pass me my crash helmet, will ya?...Say, why do they call them "crash" helmets anyway?"

Everything the Blue Angels did, they did at attention, whether it was parading by at 10-mph towards the active runway, or hurtling towards each other at a combined 1000+mph.

They really seemed to be as close as this looks. Most of the time, I had to pan the camera and shoot at rather hight shutter speeds to prevent too much blur.

A patriotic young girl sitting atop her dad's shoulders. Note that everyone is looking away from the BAs in the background, who are positioning themselves for another maneuver. There were a total of 6 Blue Angels, but they rarely flew more than four in a formation. This way, as the group of four flew past, the other two were already on their way to the runway and there was very little down time. The crowd here is already focused on the formation of two.

OK, so if you count them , there are five here. It's near the end of the show and that's when they started to fly five and six to a formation. Here they are flying into the sun.

A classic star burst.

I couldn't figure out which way to pan the camera to prevent the planes from blurring due to their speed (and I didn't have much time to think about it either). As you can see from the background blur, I probably did a 360 degree pan. Duh!

Looks like cluster jets.

Finally, all six in one formation.

Monica, after some deliberation, decides that maybe there's more to this fly boy stuff than she thought. Instead, she offers to join the Marines. Here she shows off her muscle to a completely unimpressed lad.

If there are any stealth fans out their, here's the F117 stealth fighter. Doesn't look as though it can get off the ground.

Speaking of the ground, here's a fun guy. Made enough smoke on the tarmac in front of us to obscure the runway for a few minutes. He also put on quite a show, once he took off.

Speaking of stealth, there it goes. And boy could it fly! That's a 1940s era Thunderbolt getting ready for takeoff beneath the stealth.

Believe it or not, this was probably the best part of the show. It was called the "heritage fly by". Clockwise from the 9 o'clock position is the WWII Thunderbolt fighter, then the 1980s A10 Wart hog (although this plane is till very much in service today and is the most common plane seen in the sky over Tucson), next is the F16 fighter, and finally the Vietnam era Phantom fighter. The noise produced by the Thunderbolt was a marvel, but by FAR the loudest
aircraft at the show was the Phantom. At one point in the show, the crowd's attention was focused on aircraft in front of us. The Phantom came roaring overhead from behind on full afterburners. There was no warning what so ever, as the plane was traveling at nearly the speed of sound. I honestly almost dropped my camera it was so sudden and LOUD.. Any way, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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